WE MAY FAIL AND FALL, BUT WE REGAIN OUR FEET WHEN WE PARTAKE OF THE SACRAMENT OF LOVE
–adapted from Michael Brown’s Secrets of the Eucharist]
We may fall, we may make a mistake, but love knows how to draw profit from all. It quickly consumes anything that may be contrary to Christ. And it comes through the sacraments. It comes with Communion. “The Eucharist is the sacrament of love,” explained St. Thomas of Aquinas. “It signifies love. It produces love.” It is a feast of love.
It is a vortex through which comes the affection of God.
As bread nourishes the body, so does Communion serve as food for the soul because it plants love. It nurtures love. It maintains love.
We need little else when we have the sacrament of love.
We’re told by the saints that while on earth no one can properly appreciate the love and power of one Mass. As they say, it would be better for the sun to stop shining than for all Masses to come to a halt. The earth would plunge back into abysmal darkness. Mass is God’s greatest gift to us. No one can comprehend its value because its value is infinite. “One merits more by devoutly assisting at a holy Mass than by distributing all of his goods to the poor and traveling all over the world on pilgrimage,” said St. Bernard. Its greatness is predicated on love. Its greatness is in its representation of unselfishness. We must love Christ through the Eucharist and then extend that love to our fellow humans.
The more receive, the more we should give. It all comes back. Love attracts love. Every time we love someone, something good happens throughout the universe. Every time we love a person, we are poised to cause a chain reaction. When we’re nice to somebody, when we show consideration, especially to a stranger, he or she is often nice to someone in turn, and then the third person also does something nice, and soon there is a domino effect.
Every time we send love, we set the stage for a beautiful turn of events — and we erase past incidents in which we sent dislike and even hatred. Every time we send love, we make up for a time in the past when we failed to send love. We make up for incidents of dislike, irritation, and impatience. We atone for ill thoughts. Think of all the people you’ve interacted with during your life and how many times you’ve felt aggravation.
Count the times you’re tempted to anger. Count the times someone irritates you, or that negativity enters your thoughts. Keep a mental log of the incidents. Count the times you honk your horn or insult someone under your breath. Count the times you think of someone as inferior or “dumb.”
The most simple acts of aggravation are troublesome to God.
He does not forget a minute of our lives. When we die we’re made to feel the emotions we caused in every person we ever had contact with. Good and bad. It’s all on record.
But I like to think that every time we love, every time we send out good feelings, we erase a time when we didn’t love. Each blessing — each kind thought we think about someone — erases a past curse. If we bless people all day long, we eventually make up for all the times we’ve sent curses in the form of negative thoughts. We erase all the hatred or dislike we previously held.”